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Smoking can trigger severe leg pain, poor wound healing

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New York, July 24 Researchers have found a strong link between smoking and peripheral artery disease — a circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs — and this elevated risk can persist up to 30 years after quitting smoking.

The study, led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, also found that the link between smoking and peripheral artery disease was even stronger than that for coronary heart disease and stroke.

“The study suggests that campaigns about smoking’s health risks should emphasize the elevated risk of peripheral artery disease, not just coronary heart disease and stroke,” said senior study author Kunihiro Matsushita.

The study found that compared with never-smokers, those who smoked for more than 40 pack-years had roughly four times more risk for peripheral artery disease, versus 2.1 times and 1.8 times more risk for coronary heart disease and stroke, respectively.

A pack-year is a parameter of smoking — 10 pack-years can mean one pack per day for 10 years or two packs per day for five years or some other combination.

Similarly, participants who reported currently smoking more than a pack per day had a relative increased risk — 5.4 times more for peripheral artery disease versus 2.4 for coronary heart disease and 1.9 for stroke — compared to those who had never smoked.

Peripheral artery disease features the atherosclerotic build-up of cholesterol-laden deposits in arteries serving the legs. The reduction of blood flow leads to limb pain, poor wound healing, and other signs and symptoms.

The effect of smoking on peripheral artery disease risk was not just stronger; it was also longer-lasting.

Only after 30 years of smoking cessation did the peripheral artery disease risk for former smokers return to the baseline level seen in never-smokers.

By comparison, coronary heart disease risk took about 20 years to return to baseline after smoking cessation.

The good news is that quitting smoking appeared to bring a meaningful drop in peripheral artery disease risk fairly quickly.

“We observed a lower risk for peripheral artery disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke within five years of smoking cessation,” says Ning Ding, a data analyst and author of the study.

“Smoking almost always starts in adolescence or early adulthood, and it’s very important that young people understand how long the elevated health risk persists even after they’ve quit,” Matsushita noted.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, is the first comprehensive comparison, in a large population moving through time, of the smoking-elevated risks of peripheral artery disease, coronary heart disease and stroke.

The analysis was based on a sample of 13,355 Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) cohort participants, including 3,323 current smokers and 4,185 former smokers, who were tracked for a median period of 26 years.

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US President says coronavirus problem to be over soon

Asserting that the situation in the US is under control, Trump said the US also does business with other nations and wants other countries to be “happy healthy and well”.

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New Delhi, Feb 25 : US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the coronavirus epidemic will soon be brought under control as China has been working very hard.

Addressing Indian CEOs here, Trump said the US plans to spend about USD 2.5 billion in fighting the deadly coronavirus.

“China is working very very hard, I have spoken to President Xi they are working very hard. They had a rough patch and right now it seems they are getting it under control, they are getting it more and more under control so I think it is a problem that is going to go away,” Trump said.

Asserting that the situation in the US is under control, Trump said the US also does business with other nations and wants other countries to be “happy healthy and well”.

“Let us see how it works out but I think it is going to work out fine. I hope so. We are working very hard, we are spending a tremendous amount of money also …about USD 2.5 billion on getting everything ready just in case something should happen and also helping other nations who are unequipped to do it,” Trump added.

The high profile CEO roundtable with Trump included captains of the Indian industry such as Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran and Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla.

China reported the outbreak of novel coronavirus on December 31, 2019. On Monday, Chinese officials said the death toll has climbed to 2,592, while the total number of confirmed cases increased to over 77,000.

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Travel abroad? Make your will, be ready for 14-day quarantine

The doctor advised not to travel to countries with Level 4 warnings like Wuhan, China.

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New Delhi, Feb 25 : In view of deaths caused by novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which has taken over 2,600 lives in China, the Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) issued an updated advisory for travelling.

The coronavirus death toll in mainland China has increased to 2,663 with 77,658 confirmed cases, health authorities said on Tuesday.

According to K.K. Aggarwal, President CMAAO, “if you are travelling abroad, keep the possibility of being quarantined for 14 days in any country.”

Travel advisory is divided into four levels: Level 1 on all countries — Exercise normal standard hygiene precautions, Level 2 in all affected countries — Exercise a high degree of caution, Level 3 all countries with secondary cases — Reconsider your need to travel and Level 4 in affected parts of China and Korea — Do not travel.

“Carry at least 20 days of extra essential medicines stock. Always keep the passport, kept in a plastic pouch, in a safe front pocket, with you in case if you want to leave the country,” Aggarwal said.

Aggarwal added that always carry authentic medical prescription with you with generic names of the drugs, and carry dry fruits as well.

He also suggested that always book a refundable air ticket even if they are 10 per cent costlier.

“Get travel insurance and make sure that you have an up-to-date will, an enduring power of attorney,” CMAAO President said.

The doctor advised not to travel to countries with Level 4 warnings like Wuhan, China.

“For Level 3 warnings — like India and Singapore — travel only if it is a must and minimise time spent in airports or leave the area if you feel uneasy,” Aggarwal said.

The deaths outside China were recorded in Iran (12), South Korea (eight), Italy (seven), Japan (five), Hong Kong (two), France (one), Taiwan (one) and the Philippines (one).

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Researchers develop coronavirus vaccine candidate

The next stage is to produce this on a larger scale needed for additional testing, to determine its effectiveness against the virus.

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Sydney, Feb 22 : A team of researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia has created their first vaccine candidate in the laboratory for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

The team will move immediately into further development before formal pre-clinical testing, the university said on Friday.

The proof-of-concept milestone comes in less than a month after the project’s announcement on January 24 as part of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) rapid response programme.

“There is still extensive testing to ensure that the vaccine candidate is safe and creates an effective immune response, but the technology and the dedication of these researchers means the first hurdle has been passed,” said University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor and President Peter Hoj AC.

The work in the lab shows the feasibility of using the university’s “molecular clamp” technology to engineer a vaccine candidate that could be more readily recognised by the immune system, triggering a protective immune response.

The next stage is to produce this on a larger scale needed for additional testing, to determine its effectiveness against the virus.

Researchers said the early research had gone “as expected” and the material created had the properties which allowed the team to proceed with vaccine development.

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